tiktok. social media marketing, affiliate marketing, cnn, children's privacy, data privacy, regulation, tiktok fine, compliance

TikTok fine incoming for breaching EU children’s privacy

TikTok is facing a fine from the EU after its regulator found evidence of the app breaching children’s privacy. The Chinese-run short-form video content app is looking at a fine from the European Data Protection Board that could potentially be millions of pounds for its processing of children’s data.

The European Data Protection Board came to a binding decision following a two-year-long investigation, which TikTok submitted legal objections against, into TikTok’s level of compliance with the EU’s general data protection regulation, particularly as it was pertaining to children aged between 13 and 17.

Since 2021, when the investigation was launched, the EU has launched the Digital Services Act, in which large online platforms like TikTok, Google, Facebook and more will be expected to police its content for illegal content, share data with authorities, and prohibit certain advertising practises, like the requirement to clearly disclose when a piece of content is an advertisement and outlining how to clearly point it out. Measures taken by TikTok to improve compliance with the Digital Services Act include allowing users to turn off personal recommendations for videos, making it easier for users to report illegal content, and removing targeted advertising for users between 13 to 17 years old.

The EU technology commissioner, Thierry Breton, told CNN: “TikTok is dedicating significant resources to compliance. Now it’s time to accelerate to be fully compliant.”

It follows another fine from the UK data watchdog earlier this year, which resulted in TikTok handing over £12.7 million. This was also a result of the company’s “very little if anything” approach to protecting children’s data on the app, as said by the British information commissioner.

Marketers across the board should keep an eye on TikTok, particularly if they are targeting children and families with their marketing. If the site is eventually deemed unsafe for children by the greater population, TikTok might gain a reputation it can’t shake off, and brands will likely get the runoff from that reputation too.

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